Elsie Jane Tollefson

Saturday, December 2, 2023 11:45 am

Elsie Jane Tollefson, age 88, of Decorah, passed away on Friday, December 1, 2023, at Wellington Place, Decorah.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at First Lutheran Church, 604 W Broadway St. in Decorah. Burial will be in the Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday, Dec. 8, from 9:30 to 11 a.m.. at First Lutheran Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Decorah Community Food Pantry; P.O. Box 26; Decorah, Iowa 52101 or to WinnMed Hospice, 901 Montgomery St., Decorah, Iowa 52101.

Elsie Jane (Reyerson) Tollefson was born in Northwood, Iowa on Dec. 18, 1934, to Henry and Palma (Bendickson) Reyerson.  She was seventh of 12 children. She was baptized at Silver Lake Lutheran Church near Northwood and confirmed at Rock Creek Lutheran Church in rural Osage.

On Feb. 23, 1957, she was united in marriage to Otis J. Tollefson.  To this union, three children were born: Debra, Diane and Steven. They made their home in Decorah. She attended country schools at Northwood and Osage. After graduating from Osage High School, she attended Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.  She taught in the elementary grades in Waukon, South Winneshiek and Decorah Schools for 33 years.

Jane was a member of First Lutheran Church, Martha Circle, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and on the Social Concerns Committee.  She taught Sunday School, was a mentor, helped sponsor a Laotian family and was a member at Silvercrest Country Club.  She enjoyed reading, bowling, playing cards, spending winter vacations in Arizona and trips taken to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Bahamas.  She especially loved the time spent with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Otis; children:  Debra (Mike) Gallagher of Cedar Rapids, and Steven Tollefson of Decorah; grandchildren: Michelle (Ryan) Bildstein, Matthew (Kate) Gallagher and Emily Nehls (Jacob Bedford); great-grandchildren: Anthony, Brandi, Avery, Harper, Micah, Violet, Olive, Jack, and Grace; sisters:  Patricia Hall, Gail (Fred) Libby; and many nieces and nephews and cousins.

Preceding her in death were her parents; daughter: Diane (Tollefson) Jaastad; three sisters: Laurine (Reyerson) Link, Marjorie (Reyerson) Klukow and Pearl (Reyerson) Klukow; and five brothers: Curt, Herbert, Judean, LeRoy and Dean.

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